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Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returns to the french horn as part of recovery

Gabby Giffords uses the french horn to aid in her recovery
Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Giffords
Gabby Giffords uses the french horn to aid in her recovery

The ex-Arizona representative was shot ten years ago. She's rebuilt her life with constant therapy, including playing the French Horn, which helps with her ability to speak. - PBS News Hour

More than 10 years since former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, Gabby is still recovering. Her aphasia makes it difficult for her to speak, but still she uses her voice.

She credits much of her recovery to returning to the French horn, an instrument she began playing in fourth grade and continued to play through college. About three years into her recovery, she met and began working with a French horn instructor in Germany, who was very patient with her, and like any good teacher, pushed Gabby to practice.

In August 2020, Gifford said this is a speech at the DNC: Confronted by despair, I’ve summoned hope. Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I responded with grit and determination. I put one foot in front of another. I found one word, and then I found another. My recovery is a daily fight, but fighting makes me stronger. Words once came easily, but today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice.

Gabby says: Playing the French horn has even helped me regain some of my ability to speak. Without musical intonation practice, I wouldn’t be able to deliver many of the speeches I give.

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Watch Gabby Giffords speech.